26 December, 2009


There was this village fair I once went to. Everywhere, people around me were buying the fancy, colourful stuff and I was feeling a little left out. I HAD TO buy something & it HAD TO be something useful! Among the less flashy stuff, I found these pens.
As these rarely-used pens turn 6 this month, I have this great longing to go to another fancy fair, where, I can idle away some mindless and relaxing hours.

08 December, 2009

My Passage to Kannada Movies

My 20 km journey to music class twice a week, is by bus. 95% of all the bus routes in these parts are managed quite efficiently by private operators. The stops are few and far between &, of late, the operators have graduated from playing Kannada/ Hindi film music to screening Kannada movies, maybe, because most buses cover a distance of 100-200 km one-way, in the course of the journey.

One evening, as usual, I sat and resigned myself to half an hour of exasperation. But, wait a minute, here was Shilpa Shetty- as a beggar!! I am, of course, aware that Ms.Shetty, owing to her Mangalorean roots has acted in a couple of Kannada movies, but, as a beggar?? This was news to me!! Soon, I realised that 'Maya' was being punished by destiny for being haughty, proud, cruel, etc. during her money-lending/ mafia days. She was, infact, reduced to eating rotten food from garbage bins while the town jeered at her. A long, boring, sad, preachy song followed & before it ended, it was time for me to get off - as usual, without even knowing/ wanting to know the name of the movie I partially saw!

Wait till you hear about what I saw on my return journey! The hero, in white, was wielding an axe (yes!). While chopping the heads off the villain's men, he was having a war of words with the wheelchair bound 'khalnayak' whose hands were missing too. After the 50-odd men (who had driven to the arena in white Tata Sumos!) were done away with, the hero lowered his lower eye lids and from the fire that came out, the chief (& his wheelchair!) was charred to death!!!!!

On a normal day, I usually look out of the window or cat nap. My co - passengers are usually busy chatting/listening to their i-pods/catching up on sleep. Recently, the newspapers had reports on the dwindling audience at theatres screening Kannada movies. But, even when these movies are brought to us, we don't watch them. Don't you think that this should be causing the movie makers more worry?

24 November, 2009

Coffee Stop

This is 'Bhadra Stop'. Located about 45km from/ before Chikmagalore depending on whether you are coming from/ going to C'lore, on the C'lore - Sringeri road, this attractive shack slows you down to take a peep.

 'Bhadra' is the name of the mighty, yet, quiet river that flows nearby. The surrounding coffee plantation is called 'Bhadra Estate'.
Well, once you take the peep, you feel like taking a break. Coffee is the only beverage that is served. If you are hungry, some basic snacks are also available. Everything inside has a rustic feel. Yet, the fridge, the gas stove and the uniformed cook- cum- server fit in.
We were lucky to be passing by during the peak of the monsoon and when the coffee was served within 5 minutes, all we did was pamper all our senses - saw the lovely landscape, heard the birds, felt the weather and smelt and tasted good coffee.
Decision made on that day - If ever 'Bhadra Stop' asks me, 'Coffee, tea or me', my definite reply will be, ' Coffee & you, even if I prefer tea!!'

13 November, 2009

Sharing a Short Story

Of late, I have been reading a lot of short stories. I think that most short stories have their roots in real- life incidents. Also, attend to a short story closely, and you can tell something about the author!

One of the earliest short stories that I remember reading is about an old man who plays extra roles in movies.To land these roles, he has to hang around film studios everyday and roles at his age don't come by easily.
One day, a famous director offers him a role - that of a retired gentleman on his way home from buying groceries. The scene requires the old man to be window shopping as the hero storms out of the shop and dashes into him, thus, upsetting his bag. All he has to say is 'Oh!' and the fee is very good. Our man agrees, happy to be in the famous director's film.
While thinking about his scene at home, our man realises that 'Oh!' when said in different ways can mean different things. Much to his wife's annoyance, he spends his whole evening getting the right expression of 'Oh!' - a mixture of shock, irritation and anger.

The next day, the shot is okayed at the first attempt itself and everyone rushes to congratulate the hero for his natural acting talent, etc. while our poor man who has worked so hard is paid off with no acknowledgement or accolade :(

Well, coming back to my point, such a story can only be thought of by someone associated with movies- a sensitive person at that. No marks for guessing, but, this story is by Mr.Satyajit Ray.

I read this in a popular children's magazine of my time called 'Children's World'. The magazine wound up even before I got out of my teens long ago, and, as 'Children's Day' is coming up, I wonder if there are any magazines of that calibre around for children.

Happy Children's Day wishes to the child in all of us!

Century on the Bronze Anniversary!

This is my100th post, and today is the eighth birthday of Alter Idem !! That's an average of a post per month......1.04 to be precise!!...